Higher Degree Research

The Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry (IRCI) at ACU advances globally connected research across Biblical and Early Christian Studies, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and Religion and Theology. Higher Degree Research students are an integral part of our scholarly community and intellectual vision.

Our Virtual Open Day information sessions were held on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 February 2021. Recordings are available below.

We look forward to connecting with you to discuss your hopes for your future research and how our programs can support you in your exciting endeavours to develop sophisticated skills, generate new knowledge, and link into a strong international research community.

Stipend scholarships are available to support PhD candidates affiliated with our collaborative project, ‘Religious Mobilities: Medieval and Early Modern Europe and the World.’ Learn more

Important information for applicants

We welcome applications from both domestic candidates from Australia and New Zealand, and international candidates. The next round of applications for PhD and MPhil programs will re-open later in 2021. Fully-funded places are available. Due to current Australian government restrictions on international student arrivals as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, students from outside of Australia and New Zealand may not be able to commence immediately; information will be updated as it becomes available.

Applicants to the PhD and MPhil programs should have research topics in one of IRCI's areas of expertise:

  • History of religion (social, intellectual, cultural), particularly Christianity, in all its forms (New Testament Studies and reception history, organizations, identities, experiences, and ideas, including theology, philosophy, technology, material culture, popular culture, history of science, music, ritual, and literature)
  • Christianity and its relations to Judaism, the religions of Mediterranean antiquity, Islam, Europe, and European colonies from Antiquity to the Enlightenment)
  • Theology and religious thought, in all their dimensions, including ethics, aesthetics, ritual, philosophy of religion, cross-cultural engagements, Catholicities, Vatican II Studies, comparative theologies, Global Christianity, ecumenism

Successful applicants will be fully immersed in the intellectual life of the Institute, at ACU’s St. Patrick’s Campus in Fitzroy, Melbourne, participating in seminars, conferences, and reading groups, and working collaboratively with our team of world-class scholars across our research programs.

These programs support ongoing research projects which provide a vibrant environment for research students, including the possibility of international experience at international partner institutions and a co-tutelle program. Please see the Biblical and Early Christian StudiesMedieval and Early Modern Studies, and Religion and Theology, and ACU Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions pages for further information, and for contact details of researchers involved in these projects.

Successful applicants may be eligible for financial support through one of the University’s competitive research scholarships. Financial support includes a stipend scholarship, a fees-offset scholarship or a tuition fee waiver (as appropriate). Full details are found in the University’s research scholarships website.

At ACU the PhD is a three-year degree, while the MPhil is a two-year degree. A PhD Thesis must make an original contribution to the field, whereas an MPhil Thesis is required to display mastery of its field. For more information about HDR/graduate degrees at ACU, consult the following links

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Before you apply:

Prior to submitting your application you should review:

How to Apply:

Applicants must follow the instructions on the ACU Become a Research Candidate Page. The current application round has now closed and will re-open later in 2021.

For further information please contact hdr.irci@acu.edu.au

Mailing address

C/- 115 Victoria Pde
Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.